Trees are wonderful things to have in our gardens, they provide beauty, shade, and a home for birds, not to mention giving us some extra oxygen! Trees pretty much do their own thing, but the truth is they benefit from a little human help once in a while in the form of pruning. We know that cutting parts of a tree off sounds a bit counterproductive, but the fact is when done right pruning is good for the tree, and will enhance its appearance as well.
Pruning is both an art and a science, and you will need to use a little of both to make it work! If you are planning to prune your trees in an urban area it’s best to check the forestry standards Australia for guidance first, there may be limitations on what you should and shouldn’t do as well as useful advice. With a little care and some foreknowledge, you can make pruning a fun and beautifying experience that’s good for you and your trees!
When it comes to pruning very large trees in the higher regions of their branches it’s sensible to engage the services of a professional tree service whose technicians have the skills and equipment to climb up there and do a proper job of it safely. For today’s purposes let’s focus on smaller, younger trees that will benefit from your careful snipping and training without you putting yourself into danger!
Here are some of the general benefits of pruning:
- Preserving the shape of the tree
- Restricting the size of the tree, although it is best to choose a tree that will grow to fit the space in the first place rather than being forced to constantly prune
- Encouraging productive growth such as flowering shoots on Roses and fruiting wood in the orchard
- Removing dead, rotten, or diseased wood
- Removing old canes from the base in trees like May Bushes and Abelia
- Thinning a canopy to allow air movement through the branches.
- Form trees into desired shapes by topiarising, standardising or espalier.
- Encouraging colourful new growth like new red leaves on Photinia
- Maintaining a hedge or screen with tree-like shrubs such as laurel
- Retarding upward growth on trees and encouraging branching
- Reducing competition from unwanted neighbours by thinning out crowded growth
- Removing suckers from root stocks on grafted trees
It’s important to prune most deciduous fruit trees, Roses, Grape Vines and ornamentals. Delay pruning of spring flowering varieties until flowering has finished, otherwise you’ll cut off the incipient blossoms!
Always feed soon after pruning, most trees will benefit from a natural fertilising mix that helps maintain organic, nutrient-rich soil for better root growth, stronger branches, and more flowers and fruit whilst encouraging earthworms and beneficial soil micro-organisms.
Australia loves its trees, and there are laws in place to protect them, click here for more information.
We hope this inspires you to learn more about pruning and give it a try!